The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy has announced a new Naional Microbiome Initiative (NMI) to encourage the integrated study of microbiomes across differenct ecosystems. The NMI involves Federal agencies and private-sector stakeholders, with a combined Federal agency investment of more than $121 million in 2016/17.
France Córdova, director of the National Science Foundation (NSF), has unveiled an agenda of nine big ideas to shape the future of research and win over the next US president and Congress. However, she has pointed out that the NSF’s current budget of $7.46 billion is insufficient to address this agenda.
The National Postdoctoral Assocation (NPA) has released an official statement about the Fair Labor Standards Act, which issues that employees who earn less than $47,476 must be paid for any overtime work they carry out. The NPA supports raising the starting salary of postdocs to $50,000 and see this act as a positive step towards this goal. They have, however, raised concerns over differences between rules for the humanities and sciences regarding exemptions for postdocs that carry out teaching.
A new study has found a substantial drop in funding for a core section of the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Funding for ‘governance and systems’ fell 33%, with the agency’s overall budget falling 7% from 2013 to 2014.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced the availability of $6 million in grant funding to address antimicrobial resistance. The aims are to better understand how antibiotic resistance develops, find antibiotic alternatives, and educate people to reduce the reliance on antibiotics.
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Contributed by Dr. Peter Harvey, Postdoctoral Researcher in Biological Engineering at MIT.